Shifting Gears



‘Shifting Gears’ is an international conference to be hosted by Women’s Enterprise Scotland (WES) in Glasgow on 12 and 13 May, 2015. It will be the first event of its kind in Scotland, designed to build on the global leading Women’s Enterprise Framework already established here.

The conference will explore the growth trend in female self-employment and small/medium business formation, particularly in non-traditional and innovative sectors. Identifying and examining the strategies and resources needed to support sustainable growth and unlock the significant potential of women’s enterprise to contribute to the Scottish economy.

Aligned with the themed actions contained in the Scottish Framework and Action Plan for Women’s Enterprise, international best practice will be used to share the journey from research findings, to policy development, to policy initiatives delivered in practice and their ultimate impact on women-owned businesses across the globe.

A range of first-class global speakers will challenge perceptions, provoke fresh thinking and highlight examples of best practice from around the world. Those insights will examine why female self-employment and business formation are a critical driver for economic growth; review the benefits for wellbeing, communities and families and the potential to reduce the burden on the public purse.

Draft Programme:

Day One – 12th May 2015

9.30     Registration and Coffee

10.00   Welcome: Professor Pamela Gillies CBE, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Glasgow Caledonian University and Margaret Gibson, Chief Executive, Women’s Enterprise Scotland
10.10    Keynote speaker: Scottish Government Minister will open the conference and share Scottish economic strategy messages in the immediate aftermath of the UK general election
10.30    Keynote speaker: Nora Senior, President, British Chambers of Commerce
10.45    Keynote speaker: Anne Lise Kjaer, Kjaer Global: ‘The New Economy 2035 and 4P Thinking’
11.30    Workshops: Policy, Research, Practice, Finance, Mentoring and Leadership

12.45    Lunch and networking

1.30      Open Space Participatory Session
3.00     Keynote Speaker: Vicky Pryce, former Joint Head of the UK Government’s Economic Service
3.45      Closing remarks: Margaret Gibson, Chief Executive, Women’s Enterprise Scotland

4.00     Close and Coffee
5.00     Civic Reception, Glasgow City Chambers

Day Two – 13th May 2015

9.00     Registration and Coffee

9.30     Opening remarks: Jackie Brierton MBE, Chair, Women’s Enterprise Scotland
9.40     Keynote speaker: Scottish Government Minister, Scottish Framework and Action Plan for Women’s Enterprise
10.00   Panel Discussion: Outcomes from the Open Space Participatory Session held on day one

11.00    Coffee and networking

11.30    Workshops: Policy, Research, Practice, Finance, Mentoring and Leadership (repeat of workshops held on day one)
12.30    Keynote speaker: tbc

1.15      Lunch and networking

2.30     Learning sessions from Scotland

4.00     Conference close

Join the conversation… #WESMovingOn

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